Medicare Savings Program (and Extra Help)
For those on a fixed income, there is relief. If your only income is Social Security and need some help paying Medicare costs (and prescription drug costs), you might be in luck.
If your income (and assets) are low enough, there is a program called the Medicare Savings Program that helps pay your Part B premiums.
Also, Extra Help is a federal program that helps pay for - some to most - of the out-of-pocket costs of Medicare prescription drug coverage. It is also known as the Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS).
There are even more benefits to enrolling in an MSP (Medicare Savings Program). The MSP enrollment:
- Allows you to enroll in Part B outside of the regular enrollment periods.
- Eliminates your Part B late enrollment penalty, if you have one.
Automatically enrolls you in Extra Help, the federal program that helps pay your Medicare prescription drug (Part D) plan costs.
If you do not have Part A but meet eligibility guidelines, your state may have a process to allow you to enroll in Part A outside of the General Enrollment Period (January 1st to March 31st).
It also may be helpful to note that income and asset guidelines vary by state. Certain income and assets may not count and some states do not count assets at all when assessing MSP eligibility.
*Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and the District of Columbia do not have asset limits for MSPs (as of November 2021).
You can contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) to learn more about MSPs in your state and to receive assistance with the application process.
HERE IS MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THESE PROGRAMS: